The Bottle Up project shows how Zanzibar’s trash can be turned into furniture, accessories and building materials.
The project, presented at Dutch Design Week, features a series of colourful terrazzo homeware, including a bench, a table, a dish and a vase.
Super Local designers Luc van Hoeckel and Pim van Baarsen teamed up with design studio Osandos Stone cycling and Klaas Kuiken for the project. The first collection launched after a visit to Zanzibar in 2015.
They realised there was no recycling scheme set up for the huge amount of discarded glass bottles left over from a booming tourism industry.
By collecting the glass from hotels instead of sending it to landfill, the amount of waste material salvaged from the past year could have filled six shipping containers.
The designers wanted to find a more attractive way to use the waste – so developed a terrazzo that is manufactured using the recycled glass. Named Trending Terrazzo, it is exclusively produced and sold on the island. Van Baarsen said the aim was to create something that could be useful to local resorts.
“A lot of hotels import their furniture from Bali, because it has the same ‘island feeling'” he said. “But that’s a shame, because Zanzibar has really skilled craftsmen, who weren’t making stuff to suit the needs of local hotels.”
For the latest phase of the project, Dutch designer Lou van Reemst discovered a type of limestone cement that doesn’t deteriorate when mixed with glass. This results in a stronger terrazzo material, which the studio is now using to create building blocks.